Whereas India, China, Eastern Europe, and Russia get the most attention when it comes to outsourcing IT work, Brazil is fast becoming a competitive destination, offering top-quality IT talent in an intriguing location, business-wise.
Of course, every location and workforce, including here in the States, has pluses and minuses -- be it wage scale, time zone, professionalism, or understanding of business requirements. With that in mind, Brazil offers a workforce of IT professionals worth considering for your next outsourcing endeavor.
[ For tips on landing an IT job in Brazil and beyond, see InfoWorld's guide to offshoring yourself. ]
I spoke with Antonio Moreira, CEO of Stefanini IT Solutions' North American operations. Stefanini is a Brazilian IT service provider with 7,000 employees specializing in IT consulting, software development, and integration.
Brazil: an alternative to India and China
First off, Moreira doesn't believe that choosing between, say, India and Brazil as your outsourcing location necessarily has to be an either/or proposition. Rather, he believes companies may want to mitigate risk by using alternative sites.
That said, Moreira does promote Brazil as a place with a lower turnover rate than India, and as a place where IT professionals have a high degree of technical skills and business savvy. Stefanini, for example, experiences an average of 15 percent employee turnover, Moreira says.
As for technical skills, São Paulo has the second-largest community of Java programmers outside of the United States.
Brazil also has what Moreira calls a "western" business culture, including a large financial and banking industry footprint. This means the Brazil IT workforce includes a great many mainframe programmers as well.
"Brazil has a fabulous infrastructure to support the banking industry, and it is leveraged for other industries," Moreira says.
Moreira also says that if you have a Brazilian team on a project and there is a problem that would jeopardize the delivery deadline, Brazilian IT culture is such that Brazilians will share that information with the team back in the United States immediately.
"Brazilians are more proactive," Moreria says. "If they see they are not able to meet the deadline, they do something. They won't wait until the last minute and then say they can't meet the deadline."
I spoke with two U.S. companies about their experiences working with the Brazilian outsourcer.
HNI Corp., in Muscatine, Iowa, and Idera, based in Houston, turned south to Stefanini rather than east to augment their IT staffs.